Why Online Master’s Degrees are Better for Changing Careers

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Thinking About Changing Careers?

If you are thinking about changing careers to one that requires additional formal education, this article is for you. Whether unhappiness in your current career or a stroke of luck  where a new opportunity arises drives your interest, thinking about changing careers is a healthy endeavor, and well worth your effort. But let’s be honest – approach it carefully.

A recent Forbes article clearly articulates the most important considerations to keep in mind if you are interested in using a master’s degree to help you change careers. Here are their key points:

  1. The cost of earning a master’s degree is significant. Taking on the financial burden of a student loan could negatively impact your overall career outcome.
  2. There is an opportunity cost to consider when you take the time to complete the degree, especially if you reduce your work week or stop working all together to attend class.
  3. Employers favor work experience over classroom time, and graduate school curriculum is often more theory than practice.
  4. You may start your new career at the same level as others who have just completed their master’s, which minimizes the value of the years of experience you have in your current career.

Online Master’s Degrees Offer Unique Benefits

However, earning your degree online easily overcomes these drawbacks. And, many public and private universities and colleges offer online master’s degrees, giving you lots of great options. Most importantly, the learning outcomes, course quality, and cost of these programs are comparable to on-campus offerings.

Let’s go through how online degrees overcome the drawbacks identified in the Forbes article, step-by-step:

  1. Shop online master’s degree programs to find the ones that meet your financial needs. For example, online MBA programs cost as little as $10,000 or as much as $120,000. And there are over 490 online MBA programs to choose from in the U.S. There’s an online program out there that will meet most, if not ALL, of your requirements.
  2. Most online master’s degrees are designed to allow you to continue to work full-time and take your online courses part-time. These programs offer five or eight week terms, back-to-back within a semester, so that you can take one course at a time. This allows you to complete two or three courses in a semester. So the opportunity cost of losing work time is minimized with an online degree.
  3. Look for an online program that includes a capstone, internship, or practicum experience. Most professional online master’s programs have these components to ensure you get the hands-on experience employers look for. The more experience you gain in your new career field, the better.
  4. And, think carefully about how your work experience in your previous career enhances your candidacy for a position in your new career. Be sure the master’s degree IS the right pathway to this new career. If it’s not, don’t do it. Most online master’s degrees are in fields where there is demand for employees with a master’s degree (Business, Healthcare, Engineering, Social Work, Criminal Justice, and more).

Benefits For Every Career

Finally, it’s important to realize that all master’s degrees (online and on campus) train students in:

  • critical thinking
  • research and analysis
  • writing and presenting
  • and, students are required to successfully participate in cross-functional team projects, one of the most common business skill sought by employers

Get Started With The Online Degree Database

Of course, figuring out the pathway to your new career on your own is a lot of work. That’s why we developed the Online Degree Database. The database contains the most comprehensive listing of online professional master’s degrees, and their details, in the market today.

We are not a marketing company – we don’t sell your contact information to anyone. Visit our Available Programs page to see our available degrees. Use our interactive tool to select the programs that best meet your needs. Get your FREE report that contains the university name, degree name, and link to the program website so you can continue shopping. Easily complete your due diligence on managing the cost of the programs you consider with this tool. If you’re just starting to think about whether an online master’s degree is the right path for you, visit our website for helpful tips and blog posts designed to help you with your decision-making process!

Universities, work with the Online Degree Database directly to access unique and relevant intelligence about the online degree market. Contact Michelle at michelle@onlinedegreedatabase.com for more information.

Click here to get your free reports today!

Online Degrees And Career Advancement

Online degree motivations

Career Advancement Motivation

Recent research with students enrolled in online degree programs indicates that career advancement is their top motivator for furthering their education:

  • Twenty percent are motivated to further their education because they wanted a career in a new field
  • Fourteen percent say they are back in school to keep their current job skills up-to-date
  • Twelve percent needed more education to get a new job
  • And, another eleven percent seek a promotion or new position in their field

That’s a total of 57% of all online students who are primarily motivated to seek an online degree to advance in their careers! Whether you need to up-skill, seek a promotion, get a new or better job, or want to move into a completely new field, there are online degree programs that can help get you there.

What Fields Require A Master’s Degree?

There are a finite number of fields that actually require practitioner’s to earn a master’s degree (or take some courses at the master’s level) as part of the requirement for earning certification or licenses in those fields. These include many health professions, like Nurse Practitioners, Licensed Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Mental Health Counselors, and more.

But, there are no instances in business fields where a master’s degree is necessary for obtaining a license. And yet, these are the most popular master’s degrees in the market today. Students with an MBA or other business-master’s degree earn significantly more than their bachelor’s-only-trained counterparts. In some business fields, earning a master’s can fulfill part of the requirements to be licensed in certain highly sought-after specializations.

For example, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), must have:

  • Five years of higher education (one year beyond a bachelor’s degree),
  • Continued education credits in business and accounting, and
  • Verifiable business experience.

A Certified Internal Auditor must have a bachelor’s degree and two years of work experience; but a master’s degree can substitute for one year of work experience.

And some online master’s programs also offer special licensing test preparation as part of their degree offering. For example, Creighton University offers a Master of Investment Management and Financial Analysis degree. Creighton is an official partner of the Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute. The curriculum covers the three major areas of material on the CFA test. This provides students with excellent preparation for seeking this credential.  And the program is 100% online. This allows students to continue working while they complete their education to advance in their careers.

Finding The Right Online Degree Program

If you are interested in career advancement, you should carefully research the level and type of high education necessary to reach your desired career.  Review the websites of professional accrediting bodies and state licensing boards for the specific requirements in your state. Reach out to employers to ask about what they look for in candidates for your desired position. And visit the Online Degree Database to get complete, unbiased, and free details about online degree programs so you pick the best program! Search for online degree programs in your field of interest based on what’s most important to you.

Visit our Available Programs page today and get your free report containing all the online programs that meet your specific criteria – you’ll be glad you did!

Universities, work with the Online Degree Database directly to access unique and relevant intelligence about the online degree market. Contact Michelle at michelle@onlinedegreedatabase.com for more information.